Micki Watanabe Spiller’s background is in the visual arts, though she’s relished reading and listening to stories for as long as she can remember. As an only child growing up, she always retreated into books and still do to this day…
The most recent projects have stemmed from a year of reading, which culminated in a series of Book Jackets, and these objects will be used in a future performance. As an artist she tries to depict communication between people through the creations of objects, and Micki loves how written words combine to become sentences, then paragraphs, in turn becoming love letters or stories to be distributed among friends or strangers. She likes to think that these stories and moments can be shared, just as book recommendations bring friends closer.
In the Summer of 2011, Micki serendipitously became a storyteller due to receiving a grant from an organization called the Laundromat Project, where she created an intervention at a local laundromat in the form of a mobile library. Micki currently does pre-literacy storytelling programs at the Brooklyn Public library, which keeps her hand in that world. She also teaches at Pratt Institute and Parsons the New School for Design.
NLE Lab Gathering Place (2013)
Village Book Nook
Spiller’s curated “reading corner” references the block’s history of community bookstores and literary gatherings. The book display highlights works for young readers by authors who lived in the area. Other books were chosen for their stories set in Greenwich Village.
The project was accompanied by “Storytime with the Artist,” a program that provided children with the wonder of books and the joy of reading. There was also a craft project developing neighborhood-specific coloring pages.